New York-based Dancehall artist Kranium says that he ‘dumbs down’ his music on purpose because that’s what it takes to achieve wide appeal in today’s climate. The case in point was the singer’s 2020 mega-hit, Gal Policy, which appears on his recently released Toxic EP.
Not quite the hit as 2013’s Nobody Has To Know or 2017’s Can’t Believe, Gal Policy still made huge waves when it premiered last March. The artist says that the song’s eyebrow-raising lyrics, particularly those in verse 2 which vividly described a kitchen encounter, were created reluctantly to please modern consumers who appreciate that sort of shock value.
“This is where music gone to,” Kranium lamented to DJ4eign during a recent interview. “To a regular person, who is not a musician, they’d be like oh ‘that’s the best line in the song’”.
Reciting similar lyrics from 2014’s Lifestyle to illustrate, Kranium said “this is where music is at, at this point… where mi haffi like break it all the way down and dumb it down and seh mi a f–k gyal inna kitchen and wash d–k inna sink.”
“I do..do it though yuh know, mi nah lie, mi do it. But Jesus Christ, mi never waan tell everybody,” the 27-year-old singer admitted while smiling.
The ‘Melody Gad’ feels he has hit the perfect balance with the track, which he explained isn’t simple to do with a Dancehall tune. To make music that caters to the core of the genre with lighter production qualities to cross over to the mainstream is no easy feat, but he insists this is what Gal Policy represents.
“Ah di perfect balance between a core record but is big internationally,” he said.
The song’s official video, released in September 2020, has under 1 million views on YouTube, while the official audio has over 23 million views. A remix with Nigerian singer Tiwa Savage was released in June 2020.
His Toxic EP is a collection of other complicated love situationships, including the title track Toxic, Block Traffic with Rytikal, and Through The Window.
Won’t Judge, he revealed was his favorite of all the 5 singles.
The EP was just a taster of what’s to come with his forthcoming debut album. Even though he couldn’t provide any details such as the name of the album or the exact release date (maybe 6 months), he did promise that the tracklist would be condensed into well-written, quality songs, reminiscent of his best work.
However, Kranium admitted that some of his proudest compositions have not quite appealed to the fans. The 2014 single Lifestyle, for example, he felt should have made a bigger impact.
“A di only song mi gi forward, like me’ll drive and pull up the song and seh ‘Dah bwoy yah bad enuh’,” (referring to himself). Adding, “Lifestyle is a different record. I was going through the phase of being a one-hit-wonder so it more personal than anything… Dah song deh have a special place in a mi heart because a di struggle me did a face as a artiste mentally.”
But nothing was more disappointing than the reception he got for his 2018 release No Odda, and what Kranium revealed to be his favorite track of all time. The Dancehall singer said he felt the production quality, lyrics, and even the music video made No Odda, bar none, a better record than most of his other releases, if not the best.
Despite the more than 1.2 million views that the single has racked up to date, Kranium said, “I don’t understand how it miss. To this day I’m like ‘dem treat mi pickney bad’…No Odda deserve way, way more … It’s one of my favorite records I’ve ever done musically.” He went on to say No Odda is a true representation of the type of music he wants to be recognized for, and not so much for the raunchy singles he’s popularly known to do.
Besides the album, Kranium has an upcoming collab with Dexta Daps. Ultimately he plans on doing a series of tracks with the Dancehall crooner, simply because one track with these two won’t do justice.
Watch Kranium’s full interview with DJ4iegn on YouTube.